Art Spiegelman's father Vladek was a Polish Jew who survived the Holocaust. When Spiegelman told his father's story in Maus, he depicted all the Jews as mice and all the Nazis as cats. Strangely, the cartoonish conceit doesn't trivialize the story, it makes it viscerally real — it strips away our practiced indifference to an all too familiar story. Those mice are more human than most people. Alongside his father's tale Spiegelman lovingly but honestly depicts his own relationship with his father, who has aged into a difficult, prickly, fearful man. Maus won a Pulitzer in 1992, a landmark event in the history of the medium — its sheer power forced the mainstream world to take comics seriously.Read about another book on Grossman's list.
Maus also appears on Danny Fingeroth's top 10 list of graphic novels, Meg Rosoff's top 10 list of adult books for teenagers, and Malorie Blackman's top ten list of graphic novels for teenagers.